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IC17 Team Announcement – Great Britain Bulldogs

Over the next month AFL Europe will be taking a look at the teams travelling to the International Cup in Australia this August. First up we’re checking in with the reigning European Champions, the GB Bulldogs, who will be looking to push deep into the finals after multiple mid-table finishes in previous tournaments.

What’s been happening since European Championships in 2016?

The GB Bulldogs were crowned European Champions in August last year after a convincing victory over the Irish Warriors. They kept their 18-a-side football rolling following with hit-outs against the Dutch and a rematch against the Irish over in Dublin.

They had a number of players in the Euro Cup in Lisbon with England finishing third and the Welsh and Scottish having solid tournaments.

Trials at the start of March provided players to showcase their athletic abilities.

What’s scheduled/planned for the months leading up to IC17?

Over the next couple of months, the Bulldogs will have a competitive hit-out in the London Footy Carnival against the visiting Canadian Development squad.

They will also be training as a squad twice per month in the lead up.

Who’s impressed on the training track/trials?

All players selected have impressed in the categories required by the coaches. Below are some of the top results from the March trials compared to the combine held by AFL NZ.

Vertical Leap: 84cm vs Ryan Spivey 79.3cm

20m Sprint: 2.91s vs Ross Denton 2.90s

Agility Test: 7.89s vs Andy Walkden & Marc Cashman 8.34s

Beep Test: 14.10 vs David Hastie 15.7

Coach’s thoughts?

Hear from GB Bulldogs head coach, Dean Thomas, from his interview on aflengland.org.

http://www.aflengland.org/?p=1837

The Squad

Ross Ashman – Manly Warringah Giants
Luke Booth – Huddersfield Rams Australian Football Club – Vice Captain
Chris Britton – Manchester Mosquitoes
Marc Cashman – Wimbledon Hawks
Andrew Cochran – Manchester Mosquitoes
Jack Coughlan – North London Lions
Adam Coxsell – Caulfield Bears
Ross Denton – North London Lions
George Dibble – Wolverhampton Wolverines Australian Rules Football Club
Ryan Floyd – Fitzroy Football Club
David Hastie – Wimbledon Hawks
Jason Edward Hill – Wimbledon Hawks
Douglas Houston – UTS Bats And Shamrocks Football Club
Myles Hudson – Wimbledon Hawks
Mark Ireland – Sheffield Thunder
Mini Alex Markham – Caulfield Bears
Luke Matias – Caulfield Grammarians Football Club
Dominic Mitchell – Powerhouse FC
Luke Murchie – Caulfield Bears
Alex Overton – Huddersfield Rams Australian Football Club
Owain Ryland – South Cardiff Panthers
Ryan Spivey – Sussex Swans Australian Rules Football Club
Michael Sharp – North London Lions
James Talbot – North London Lions
Andy Walkden – Manchester Mosquitoes
Sean Walton – Caulfield Bears – Vice Captain
Alex Watson – The Wandsworth Demons
Sam Willatt – Sandringham Zebras
Will Worthington – The Onkaparinga Valley Football Club – Captain

 

 

European Crusaders at IC17

The International Cup is played every three years. No expatriate Australians are eligible to play. Teams are comprised solely of amateurs who must be nationals of the countries they represent. This year’s International Cup is taking place from the 5th-19th August in Melbourne.

In 2014, there were 25 teams (18 men’s and seven women’s) that represented 18 different nations. Papua New Guinea won the men’s final while Canada won the women’s final.

For the IC17 AFL Europe will be supporting 9 teams from Europe. Two of those teams will be a men’s and women’s European Crusaders.

The European Crusaders are team’s made up of players whose home nations are unable to send a team of their own. It provides players from Europe with the opportunity to experience the International Cup and compete against the best teams from around the world.

The women’s European Crusaders team is taking shape nicely with Thomas Urban and Berengere Portal of France heading up the organisation of the trip. They currently have 15 women confirmed to attend the tournament.

The men’s European Crusaders team has had a slow start with multiple nations initially trying to compete as individual teams. Brett Peterson of Sweden and Slava Belov of Russia has been herculean in his efforts to get the ball rolling and now it is time to formalise the process.

The next stage is formalising expressions of interest from players. I have copied links for expression of interest forms if you wish to play for the European Crusaders.

Players who experience the International Cup will return to their country as ‘champions’ of the sport and act as the driving force to get their national team to future European Championships and International Cups.

Players need to be self-funded for the trip with potential sponsorship and fundraising initiatives being organised by the respective management teams. For more information on the estimated cost breakdowns please email ben.durance@afleurope.org.

Women’s Form Link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScBXrrnxAb-UqVmsE81-Hc6T2e7aWzLYrfGLIl7d86-yaHMfA/viewform?usp=fb_send_fb

Men’s Form Link:

https://www.formget.com/app/form/share/WJLU-233181

 

 

 

AFL Canada comes to London!

May 2017 brings a whole new exciting event to the already bursting AFL Europe Women’s Calendar. We are excited to announce that the Midnight Suns, the Canadian National AFL Women’s development squad will be flying over the Atlantic to play against the Great Britain Swans, the Irish Banshees and an AFL London All-Stars team.

AFL Canada decided that in 2017 they will only be sending one representative side, the Northern Lights, to the International Cup in Melbourne, unlike 2014 where they, and the USA, sent two teams each. This decision therefore meant that AFL Canada wanted to present an opportunity of progression to their development team, the Midnight Suns. With the Great Britain Swans heading to the International Cup for their debut along with veterans of the competition, the Irish Banshees, having Canada’s development squad as a warm up game will be extremely beneficial for the two teams, and vital 18-a-side practice. The London All Stars team will be made up of the best players from the four women’s teams in the capital, to bring strong and experienced players together to present a tough challenge to the three national teams.

On the back of this decision the male representative sides of AFL Canada, Great Britain and Ireland have come to a similar arrangement with Great Britain hosting a 4-way tournament between the three sides, and a yet to be named 4th side. With the male game also bursting in Canada, and the European nations looking for more competition in the months leading up to IC17, the Canadians, like their female counterparts, were looking for a place to send their development squad. The decision was made for their male team to follow their Women’s lead and the European nations followed suit.

AFL Canada’s President Lachlan Griffiths had this to say, “We are very grateful to AFL Europe, AFL England and the Great British and Irish National Teams for coming together for this tournament next year. We have been looking to provide our players with more high quality games, and are excited by the opportunity to play against two very strong football nations. It is going to provide our development squad players with a first-hand look at the level of football required to compete at the International level, with the hope that these players will go on to represent Canada in future international games and press for selection at IC20”.

The Canadian teams will touch down in London on Wednesday 17th May for 5 days; with games being played on the Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. The Women’s games will simulate International Cup formats as close as possible, and each team will play one other only once with the winner being the one coming out with the most points, with percentage taking account if required. The Men’s tournament will follow the same format with each team playing each other once.

On the back of early conversations between the team managers of Great Britain and AFL Canada there is talk of a desire to reinvigorate a yearly competition (going forward outside of International Cup years), like that of the old Atlantic Alliance Cup. While AFL England Head of Performance and GB Team Manager, Jason Hill, didn’t confirm exactly how the competition would take place or when, he did confirm that there had been talks and that GB did plan to travel to Canada in 2018.

Further details of game locations & times will be released in due course.

If you would like to assist the event in any capacity, please get in contact on GB.Swans@gmail.com and for more information please visit www.aflengland.orgwww.aflcanada.com and www.arfli.com

Around the Grounds

St. Petersburg Cats claim Unity Day Cup

On a freezing day of November 4th three Russian teams played the final tournament of 2016 – Unity Day Cup – on the Moscow State University pitch. It was a home ground for two capital city teams – “Slavyane” & “Lazy Koalas”, and the third one came from Saint-Petersburg – “St.Petersburg Cats”. It was a snowy day with -2°C on the thermometer, but the competitors were ready for such unpleasant weather.

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In the opening minutes of the first game (Slavyane vs Cats) the home team got a quick 7 points, scoring a goal and a behind. The Cats, however, found strength to fight back and dominated the rest of the match, scoring a goal every 3-4 minutes and playing a decent defensive game. After two periods of 15 minutes the final score was 66 to 9 in favour of St. Petersburg squad.

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The second game of the tournament was played between Koalas and Slavyane. Both teams were playing hard, but luck was against Slavyane this day, they conceded several goals, and Koalas calmly finished the match with the score of 72 to 13. The last game was a part of long-lasting rivalry between two cities; Moscow and St. Petersburg. There were three cups previously in 2016: Koalas celebrated the victory in April, Cats got their revenge in May, and Koalas were stronger in September tournament. But during this cold day the luck was on the side of guest team. The Cats started the game with four goals and a couple of behinds, then Koalas narrowed the gap to 10 points. But shortly after the team from St. Petersburg maintained the control on each part of the pitch, locking up everything in defence, dominating in the middle, delivering quick passes and converting them into points. The final score was 54 to 26 in favour of the Cats, and they were declared the winners of Unity Day Cup. The 2016 season of Australian football in Russia is over, but teams continue to conduct training’s on a regular basis, constantly improving their skills and preparing for a next season.

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Thanks to Alex Andryushin for the review of the Unity Day Cup

CNFA Wrap

The ALFA Lions will enter the rest of the CNFA season a real sense of confidence after convincingly beating CNFA powerhouses the Paris Cockerels. The conditions were tough with heavy rain pouring throughout the game. The Lions held their composure and ended up with a resounding victory with the final scores 85 to 11.

In the other match in the CNFA over the weekend, the Paris Cockatoos made amends for their big brothers after they snatched victory from the Bordeaux Bombers in the final minutes in the Capital. The final score in the match was 90 to 79.

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Great work to all sides who played over the weekend. The CNFA season is shaping up to be a nail-biter.

Clapham Cubs

The Clapham Cubs held their November training session on Sunday in the beautiful sunshine at Clapham Common. The session was attended by several juniors and was well run by the coaches in what is fast becoming a real presence on the Common.

The Cubs are on the lookout for any potential sponsors as they look to purchase their first ever playing kit. If you’d like more information on the Cubs, please email claphamcubs@gmail.com

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Port Malmo winter training

The Port Malmo Football Club have got their winter training up and running for another year. If you’re in the area and wish to join in for the session they run on Tuesday evenings from 6:20-8:30pm at the Latinskola Sports Hall.

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If you want any more information feel free to email coach@portmalmo.com for more details

GB Bulldogs name their Preliminary Squad

The Great Britain Bulldogs have named their preliminary squad for the International Cup in Melbourne next year. Head Coach, Dean Thomas, named the 52-man squad after a solid International season for the GB side who claimed the European Championships in August.

The boys will be doing all they can over the off-season to get their name onto the final squad list to take part in IC17 in Melbourne. Congratulations to those who have made it this far.

Check out the full press release on the AFL England page:

www.aflengland.org

Around the Grounds

Welcome to Aussie Rules, Eksjo Bulldogs!

AFL Sweden has a new member in its footy family. The Eksjo Bulldogs were officially welcomed to the AFL Sweden competition when they took part in their first intra-club game at the weekend. The Port Malmo Maulers travelled to Eksjo to help with numbers for the session.

Congratulations on playing your first intra-club match Bulldogs, we’ll follow your progress closely and wish you all the best going forward.

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CNFA Wrap up

The second day of the CNFA Championships took place at the weekend. The ALFA Lyon took on the Toulouse Hawks and dominated from start to finish. They ended up amassing a huge 175-points to the Hawks 40.

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In the other match the Bordeaux Bombers hosted the Paris Cockerels in picture perfect conditions. In what was a close game the Cockerels came away with the all-important four points with a 90 to 59 final score.

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The final game of round 2 takes places this weekend with the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes taking on the Perpignan Tigers. Stay tuned for more news on that game later in the week.

Euro Cup flashback – Rob Fielder assists Russia

It’s been a few weeks since the Euro Cup but we’ve come across this gem of a photo from the tournament:

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That’s England Dragonslayers coach, Rob Fielder, giving up his time following his teams game to help a coach-less Russian side during one of their hit-outs. What an absolute legend! No surprises that he was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to AFL England.

Simple gestures like that are what footy in Europe is all about. Great stuff Rob.

Ireland hold on to beat a fast finishing Bulldogs

The highly-anticipated AFL Europe Championships final rematch took place at the weekend in Dublin. The GB Bulldogs, with a host of changes, were hoping to further develop their talent pool prior to the International Cup in 2017. For the Irish, along with a lot of changes themselves, were seeking some redemption following a terrible performance on the mainstage at EC16.

The Warriors jumped out of the blocks early to dominant possession. Coupled with their frantic pressure they registered the first three goals of the match. Going into the first change 15-points up was a great start for the Irish boys and they continued this in the second to go into the main break with an 8.5. 53 to 4.4. 28 scoreboard advantage.

It took a half of football for the Bulldogs to finally switch on and it was the ever-dependable Myles Hudson and Alex Overton that led the charge from the backline. For the Warriors, Roch Hanmore and David McElhone were influencing the play from midfield.

Despite the improved efforts of the Bulldogs the third term ended with the Warriors registering three goals to the Bulldogs two, leaving a 27-point margin going into the final quarter.

The five-goal margin didn’t deter the reigning European Champions and they started the last term with a bang. A yellow card to an Irish player further aided the GB charge as they closed the gap to within 7-points late in the quarter. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs that’s as close as they came as the final siren gave the Irish Warriors a little bit of redemption for their loss two months earlier. Final scores reading 12.6. 78 to 10.11. 71.

Goals:

Ireland: R. McCloskey 4, C. Lordan 3, P. O’Connell 2, L. Burns, S. Guing, M. Bell

GB: A. Walkden 4, J. Hill 3, J. Coughlan 2, C. Britton

Match of the Round

Irish Warriors v GB Bulldogs

It’s been just over 2 months since the Great Britain Bulldogs held aloft the European Championship trophy. It’s a day their opponents, the Irish Warriors, won’t forget too quickly as they were completely outclassed at a game they’ve dominated for years.

The Bulldogs used their home tournament as a platform to launch towards their ultimate prize of claiming the International Cup next year. Since their EC16 victory they’ve played Holland, in what was their opponents first ever 18-a-side international, and had players involved in the 9-a-side Euro Cup with England, Scotland and Wales.

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The Irish were hurt badly by their final performance at EC16, it stung a lot. If anything its provided them with the perfect wake up call for their International Cup preparations. They bounced back at the recent Euro Cup in Lisbon but ultimately fell short in extra time of the final against a strong Croatian outfit.

This weekend sees the two sides meet again for the first time since that EC16 final, this time on the Warriors home turf in Dublin. The National Sports Campus plays host to the next epic chapter of this fierce rivalry and with a traditional 2pm bounce scheduled its sure to attract a large crowd of vocal Irishmen and women.

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Both teams are coming in with numerous changes to when they last met.  Alex Watson, Charlie Steel, Anthony Brannigan, Jordan Wynne and Tomos Wyn-Jones enter the mix for the Bulldogs.

The Irish welcome Oisin Collins, Roch Hanmore and Peter Traynor into the side. They’ll sorely miss playmakers Kevin O’Brien and Muiris Bartley in this hit-out but it provides an opportunity for some others to take the next step up.

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Neither side will be taking a backward step in this encounter as it provides all 44 players an opportunity to stake their claim for a place on the plane next August. Good luck to everyone involved in this one, hopefully matches like this become a regular fixture throughout the season.

Player to watch….

GB Bulldogs

Andy Walkden was the difference between the two sides in the EC16 final in what was a man of the match performance. His form hasn’t dropped off as he earned team of the tournament honours at the recent Euro Cup in Lisbon. The Warriors will have to keep a close eye on the crafty half-forward if they are to be any chance.

Irish Warriors

Ryan McCloskey was unstoppable at EC16 before a shoulder injury interrupted his campaign. His absence in the forward line was sorely missed in the later stages of that competition. The small forward doesn’t need many possessions to hurt his opposition so whichever Bulldog marks up on him will have to be switched on at all times.

A word from….

GB Bulldogs – Team Manager Jason Hill:

“This gives GB more vital preparation going in to International Cup 2017. It was great winning against the Irish in London but this will be a totally different game in their home conditions and if we want to compete at IC17 we will need to be able to take the game to teams in uncomfortable places. A lot of thanks goes to Ciaran from Ireland for setting up the game and we are excited to bring a GB side across the Irish Sea in what we hope will be a more regular fixture.”

Team Lists

GB BulldogsIrish Warriors
Luke Booth (Captain) (Huddersfield Rams)Gareth Baird
Michael Sharp (VC) (North London Lions)Liam Burns
Chris Britton (VC) (Manchester Mosquitoes)Stephen Guing
Anthony Brannigan (Tyne-Tees Tigers)Sean Paul Henry
Lewis Gedney (Wolverhampton Wolverines)Brendan Kelly
David Hastie (Wimbledon Hawks)Colin Lordan
Myles Hudson (Wimbledon Hawks)Kevin McDonnell
Alex Overton (Huddersfield Rams)Sean McGlinchey
Ryan Spivey (Sussex Swans)Tom McKenna
James Talbot (North London Lions)Gavin Murray
Matthew Warwick (West London Wildcats)Conor O’Halloran
Jordan Wynne (Wimbledon Hawks)Peter Traynor
Andrew Cochran (Manchester Mosquitoes)Matt Bell
Marc Cashman (Wimbledon Hawks)Oisin Collins
Jack Coughlan (North London Lions)Roch Hanmore
George Dibble (Wolverhampton Wolverines)Luke Hickey
Tim Gower (Manchester Mosquitoes)David Lally
Jason Hill (Wimbledon Hawks)Ryan McCloskey
Michael “Spike” Kilheeney (Manchester Mosquitoes)David McElhone
Owain Ryland (London Swans)Stuart McKeating
Charlie Steel (Wandsworth Demons)Paul Murphy
Andy Walkden (Manchester Mosquitoes)Padraic O’Connell
Alex Watson (Wandsworth Demons)Seamus Owens
Tomos Wyn-Jones (University of Birmingham)Coach: Brian Currane
Coach: Dean Thomas
Support Staff: Hilary Wilson, Charley Dakin, Millie Morgan

 

 

 

 

Player of the Week

AFL Europe Player of the Week

Each week AFL Europe is profiling a European player and finding out how they got into the great game of Aussie Rules and a bit about themselves. If you’d like a profile or know of someone who would, then email ben.durance@afleurope.org to receive a question sheet.

This week’s player profile comes from the South of England. Kieran Jewell plays for the mighty Southampton Titans and idolises Collingwood Magpies Skipper, Scott Pendlebury. He found out about the great game of Aussie Rules in a college lecture and has been playing for 3 years now. In Kieran’s first year playing he was unable to go out with the team due to his age and reliant on his parents to drive him to and from games.

Name:

Kieran Jewell

Club:

Southampton Titans

Nationality:

English

What position do you play?

Wherever needed

AFL team you support:

Collingwood

Favourite AFL player:

Scott Pendlebury

How did you find out about AFL?

In a college lecture

How long have you been playing for?

3 years

What is your memory of your first Aussie Rules game?

Getting put on the opposition team and missing every kick I got!

Best AFL moment?

Scoring my first 4 goals which was in the same game!

Any other interesting information, quirky stories or interesting things about yourself?

I wasn’t old enough to go out with the team for the first year I was a Titan, and had to have lifts from parents everywhere!

 

AFL Europe Championships – Day 1 Review

Match Reviews 14/8/16

Ireland Warriors v Germany Eagles

The 2016 AFL Europe Championships kicked off in style with the highly fancied Ireland Warriors taking on the German Eagles. In steamy conditions at Motspur Park, the Warriors were looking to stamp their authority as top-dogs of Europe with a strong showing against their opponents.

It didn’t take long for the Irish to open proceedings with a goal after 2 minutes to steady the nerves in the Championship opener. Muinis Bartley was finding plenty of the footy across the wing for the Irish and delivering into the forward line at will.

The Germans found their rhythm midway through the first quarter and held the Warriors firm for the vast majority. Tristan Thormann was herculean for the Eagles asserting his physical presence around the contest and making his opponents think twice with ball in hand with his ferocious tackling pressure.

Key-forward, Kevin McSorley broke the deadlock with an amazing snap on his left foot from the boundary to give the Warriors a steady lead in the closing stages of the quarter.

After a contested start to the game the Irish found a way to get their run and carry going which broke the game open after quarter time. Gavin Murray was not only dominant in the ruck but was proving invaluable around the ground for the Irish. His battle with the Eagles, Johannes Orlowski was one of the highlights of the match as the two big men went blow for blow all day.

Heading into the second half the Irish had a firm hold on the game and were controlling the tempo for large periods of time. AFL London’s Irish superstar, Kevin O’Brien, was dictating play from the centre and topped the possession count by a long way.

The Germans never gave in though and credit must go to their resilient backline for repelling constant attacking forays from the Irish. Donning the boxing headgear, Rob Macher, lead the tackle count and showed real spirit against a wave of green jumpers.

The heat was taking its toll on some of the German players, most notably Karl Haigh, who came off with cramp late in the third. He must have been pulling the wool over his opponent’s eyes as he returned to the field to slot the Eagles second goal of the game after what must have been some miracle work from resident sports trainer, ‘magic hands’ Shanahan

Inaccuracy marred the final quarter for the Warriors who had gone in at halftime with a very precise 10 goals, 2 behinds. Jan Husker snagged his second goal late in the fourth for the Germans who showed real fight and determination. The Irish would be happy with how they gelled after having their first training session together on the Saturday and will go in confident against arch-rivals, the Great Britain Bulldogs, on Tuesday evening.

The final scorecard reading 17.11. 113 to 3.0. 18.

Goals:

Ireland: P.O’Connell 4, K.McSorely 2, D. Joyce 2, R. McCloskey 2, G. Walls, E.O’Murchu, M. Bartley, C. Fitzgerald, C. O’Halloran, C. O’Lordian, L. Burns

Germany: J. Husker 2, K. Haigh

Best:

Ireland: K.O’Brien, G. Murray, R. McCloskey, P. O’Connell, L. Burns, L. Hickey

Germany: T. Thormann, J. Jung, F. Neumann, J. Orlowski, M. Priess, K. Haigh

 

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Great Britain Bulldogs v Sweden Elks

Host nation, the GB Bulldogs, graced the field in the second game of the tournament against surprise packets the Swedish Elks. With the mercury peaking just prior to first bounce both sets of players knew they’d be in for a fair slog and the first 15 minutes of the quarter proved just that.

The Bulldogs were getting their hands on the footy first but poor skill execution and some silly free kicks were really hurting them.

Dave Jordan steadied the ship for GB with an intercept mark across the wing before delivering a lace out pass to Andrew Walkden who went back to slot the opener.

Inaccuracy was killing the Bulldogs early on and kept the Swedes in the game. Kaj Karlsson was a beast in the midfield for the Elks and was starting to swing the early momentum.

Enter Marc Cashman, the big centre half forward chalked up his first goal of the game following another bullet pass from Bulldogs midfielder Luke Booth. From here on the Bulldogs were dominant.

Jordan and Sharp were wreaking havoc on the wings for GB while David Hastie jagged two goals back to back to open the second quarter.

Despite not troubling the scorers the Elks were very much threatening the GB backline. Andreas Svensson was central to the cause and was one of the most influential players on the ground for the Elks in the midfield. Jacob Nilsson was doing his best to resist the Bulldogs attack and was continually bombing the ball out of the Swedes under pressure defence.

With three goals to Cashman to open the final quarter, taking his tally to six majors, the heat was well and truly out of the contest.

With some junk time goals stretching the score out to over 100-points the Bulldogs well and truly stamped their authority on their home tournament.

Final scorecards reading 18.17. 125 to 1.1. 7.

The result leaves a tantalising Tuesday evening game against old foes the Irish Warriors which will be a battle of strength vs. speed. This will be one of the games of the Championships with a lot of history adding to the theatre of this faceoff.

Let’s not forget the showdown between Germany and Sweden on Tuesday afternoon which is set to be one of the most bruising encounters of the tournament. Both sides love the rough stuff and will leave nothing in the tank.

Play starts from 4pm on Tuesday.

Goals:

Bulldogs: M. Cashman 6, D. Hastie 3, J. Coughlan 2, C. Cooney 2, A. Walkden, M. Kilheeney, L. Booth, A. Cochran, L. Gedney

Elks: A. Olsson

Best:

Bulldogs: M. Cashman, L. Booth, J. Talbot, D. Jordan, M. Hinchey, M. Kilheeney

Elks: A. Svensson, H. Olsson, A. Olsson, T. Persson, A. Tellstrom, K. Karlsson

 

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Tuesday Around the Grounds

 

International Cup (IC17) dates and location announced

The AFL has announced the 2017 AFL International Cup (IC17) will be held in Melbourne, from August 5-19.

It will be the sixth International Cup and will include both men’s and women’s competitions.

The AFL’s head of community and international development Grant Williams said he expects the 2017 carnival to be the biggest yet.

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Finland AFL’s 2016 Season kicks off

Finland AFL (FAFL) started this weekend with both Round 1 & 2 being completed in a Round Robin format.

Despite being hosted by the 2015 Premiers the Helsinki Heatseekers, the Turku Dockers came out guns blazing to beat both the Heatseekers and the Vaasa Wombats.

Results:

Helsinki Heatseekers 1.1.7 def. by Turku Dockers 5.6.36
Turku Dockers 10.2.62 def Vaasa Wombats 3.1.19
Helsinki Heatseekers 6.8.44 def Vaasa Wombats 5.6.36

 

AFL Head of Community and International Development visits AFL Europe

AFL Europe was fortunate enough to have Grant Williams, Head of Community & International Development for The AFL, visit Headquarters in Australia House for a few days of planning and strategy discussions.

We are excited about the way forward in terms of developing fledgling nations, women’s footy, and youth development.

 

Ex-AFL London player, Jess Edwards, represents South Australia 

Ex-AFL London and Wandsworth Demons player Jess Edwards played in the South Australia v Northern Territory friendly, that took place on Saturday night at The Oval in Adelaide.

The South Australian’s wowed with a 27-point win over Northern Territory, managing to keep them to one point after quarter time.

Edwards was the leading goal kicker slotting 2 of the 6 majors.

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100 of the Best from Port Malmo veteran 

Aaran Higgins notched up his 100th game for the Port Malmo Maulers at weekend with a convincing 178-38 win against Helsingborg.

The fearless midfielder, who is the current President of the Maulers, has been at the club since 2008 and spent three at the helm as senior coach.

Congratulations Az, a great achievement.

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GB Bulldogs announce first 18 for AFL Europe Championships.

The Great Britain Bulldogs have announced their first 18 players after a training camp in Manchester this weekend.

The first 18 so far comprise of players from the Huddersfield Rams, London Swans, Manchester Mosquitoes, North London Lions, Wandsworth Demons, West London Wildcats, Wimbledon Hawks and Wolverhampton Wolverines. Head Coach has been named as Dean Thomas.

#BackTheBulldogs

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Auskick programme is introduced in Malta

Head of Community & International Development for the AFL, Grant Williams met with Sport Malta and the Australian High Commission to introduce AFL into the winter sports programme.

The initiative aims to promote Aussie Rules amongst girls and boys from a young age, teaching them the skills of the game.

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The AIS-AFL Academy wins 2014 AFL Europe Easter Series

The 2014 Easter Series in Harrow has now come to an end. After a huge week of intense training, football education and personal development the European Legion were fired up to take on the AIS/AFL Academy in what shaped as the tightest contest yet.

First off the bat in the curtain raiser the GB Bulldogs took on the Aussie Expats (new concept). The crowd were on the edge of their seats as both teams attacked the ball fiercely and put on a great exhibition of Australian Football. This also provided the GB Bulldogs with one of their last major hit-outs as a squad before competing in IC14. The Bulldogs were slightly undermanned with a number of their stars in the Legion squad, and a few already out in Australia. Despite this they fought hard against the rapidly assembled Expats but couldn’t quite match their skill level. Eventually they fell away with the final scores Expats 10.13.73 – GB Bulldogs 5.7.37. AFL England President Adam Bennett couldn’t help himself and pulled on the Bulldogs jumper once again.

AFL Europe Easter Series

In the main game at 2pm the AIS/AFL Academy side jumped the home team early and dominated the first term. The Legion looked shellshocked and had nowhere to hide in what looked an ominous start to a long afternoon. In a 7 goal to nil term including three 50m penalties against the Legion it certainly looked grim.

Tadhg Kennelly regrouped the squad at 1/4 and asked the team to slow down, breathe and start to play their own brand of football. Whatever else he said certainly had an impact as the Legion held their own for the next 2 quarters. The link up play by hand and foot showed skills beyond their experience (8 players had never played a full match before) and the score board also started to tick over. The Flynn brothers combined for one of the goals of the day while Shehroz Akram and Zvonomir Murkovich kicked superb crumbing goals.

With Sam Willatt holding potential No.1 pick Peter Wright to 2 goals at full back anything looked possible if not for the slow start.

In the last term the Australians showed why they are the best players in their age group with some stunning play and continued hard running and spread really testing the game knowledge of the European’s. Lamb (highly noticeable with his blonde locks) seemed to be everywhere and Weller had huge numbers of disposals to keep pumping the Australian’s forward. To Europe’s credit they got 3 goals of their own in the last and walked off with head’s held high.

With a crowd of AFL Club recruiters, family and friends of the players from many nations and AFL Europe officials, the match was the highlight of a week-long development program for the two squads. The European Legion team was led out by Port Adelaide’s Irish recruit Daniel Flynn who led by example kicking a goal and running hard all day.

“This is the prefect opportunity for our European community to show its talent development over the past 12 months. It’s a real indicator of the hard work being done by our volunteers amongst the AFL Europe members to nurture and expose the best young footballers to this elite level competition. We get closer every year and have real belief that a victory is not all that far away”  Chris Dow, Chairman, AFL Europe said.

The final score:

AIS-AFL Academy      7.2    10.8   14.11    21.11     (137)

European Legion        0.3    2.4     3.5         6.6       (42)

 

Goals:

AIS-AFL Academy: Lamb 5, Goddard 4, Petracca 3, Wright 2, Smith, Weller, Walsh, Heeney, Brayshaw, Bower, McLaren

European Legion: Akram, Murkovic, O’Riordan, Campion, L.Flynn, D.Flynn

 

Best Players:

AIS-AFL Academy: Lamb, Weller, Heeney, Goddard, Petracca, Walsh, Smith

European Legion: Willatt,  McKenna, Habljak, D.Flynn, Hurley, Brophy

“The way both teams have applied themselves throughout the week and during the match is a real credit to the coaches that have prepared them to this point. It has been great to see the European team evolve and grow into what now forms solid opposition for our touring AIS/AFL Academy. The Australian boys certainly know they were in a contest today and will learn a lot from the whole experience” Kevin Sheehan, AFL National/International Talent Manager, said.

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AFL Europe Easter Series

The 2014 European Legion players are:

  • Croatia – Filip Lenic, Josip Habljak , Zvonimir Murkovic;
  • Demark – Aksel Bang, Chris Campion, Mathias Biron, Mikkel Kjoege, Nathan Campion, William Anderson;
  • England – Cameron Cope, Ollie Dilieto, Sam Willatt, Sean Walton;
  • Germany – Jakob Jung;
  • Ireland – Ciaron O’Hanlon, Colin O’Riordan, Conor McKenna, Daniel Flynn, Luke Flynn, Paddy Brophy, Padraig Lucey, Peter Cooke, Sean Hurley, Shehroz Akram, Stephen Coen; and
  • Sweden – Hampus Olsson.

The 26 players from across Europe will return to their home Clubs, armed with sharper skills and an insight into the level of commitment and professionalism required to make it at a higher level in Australian football.  Over the course of the week, they have been exposed to new training drills by experienced AFL coaches and been observed by AFL Recruiters looking out for the next young AFL star.

Follow us at: @AFL_Europe @AFLDraft #afleasterseries #bestofthebest